They don't come any stranger than the silent, two-reel Our Gang comedy Lodge Night. After a brief sequence involving an African-American temperance lecturer, the Our Gang kids sneak away from their respective homes to attend a meeting of their secret organization, the Cluck Cluck Clams. Despite the fact that the organization is superficially patterned after the Ku Klux Klan, complete with white robes and pointed hoods, it is obvious that the kids have no idea what the real Klan is all about; in fact, two of the club's members are black youngsters "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison and Allen "Farina" Hoskins. Beyond this paradoxical plot device, the film follows the usual Our Gang pattern, as the Cluck Cluck Clams, together with new inductee Joe Cobb, manage to capture a gang of auto thieves -- and even get to drive one of the stolen cars. Reportedly, one of the film's gag writers was future Oscar-winning director Frank Capra. Lodge Night was originally released on July 29, 1923.
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